entrepreneurship traitsEntrepreneurship is on the rise. A report from the Kauffman Index of Startup Activity shows that 550,000 Americans launch new businesses each month. More people are starting new businesses for both cultural and economic reasons.

Although it may sound ideal, we know that not everyone who thinks they should strike out on their own is actually cut out to do it. How often have you daydreamed about being your own boss? I think it’s fair to say that most of us have imagined it at some point. But with 33% of new businesses failing in the first five years, how do you know if you’re entrepreneur material? Fortunately, advanced assessments can provide insights into the required traits for success. Harrison Assessments has studied success for 25 years, identifying the traits needed to succeed as well as factors that could be stumbling blocks.


Here’s a list of the essential traits entrepreneurs need.


Harrison Assessments (HA) defines authoritative as the desire for decision-making authority and the willingness to accept decision-making responsibility. This is so crucial that HA ranks it as “very essential, 80% of the time.”

Takes Initiative

This means the ability to understand what must be accomplished and to proceed to do it on your own. You never have to be told what needs to be done.

Wants Autonomy

This one is defined as, “the desire to have freedom or independence from authority.” In other words, to be your own boss.

Wants Challenge

If you’re not willing to tackle difficult tasks or goals, entrepreneurship is definitely not for you.


If you’re not excited about your goals and eager to tackle the steps to achieve them, you’ll burn out before you succeed. You have to be able to be your own cheerleader when things get tough.


It’s essential that you can try to persuade others in several areas, such as sharing your vision and getting excited about it. You’ll want to build a system of people who support and care about your success. Otherwise, it’s doubtful you’ll make it in the long haul.


You have to be able to envision the steps to accomplishing an objective, and formulate a plan for achieving success. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail!


This trait involves the tendency to logically examine facts and situations. If you don’t have the ability, you have to find someone who does. Analysis is essential to strategic planning.

Analyzes Pitfalls

This means you can imagine and examine potential difficulties in a plan or strategy. If you’re the person who always sees the potential downside of a proposed action, you’ve got this one covered.


Your stick-to-it ability will be tested to the breaking point as an entrepreneur. If you can’t commit to overcoming significant obstacles, maybe this isn’t the best fit for you.

Do these traits sound familiar? If they describe you, you may have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Next week, we’ll talk about the six tendencies that indicate entrepreneurship is not for you.

To find out more about traits that can make or break entrepreneurs, visit www.theperformancedifference.com, or email me at laurie@theperformancedifference.com to discuss how you can find out about the traits you need to succeed.




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